Next stop on the Men’s WSL Championship Tour is Teahupo’o, Tahiti!
Teahupo’o is often referred to as the “End of the Road” as the break is literally located right at the end of a dead-end road. Locals were historically terrified of the wave as it would often destroy their fishing boats or sometimes even human lives leading to the name Teahupo’o which loosely translates to “sever the head” or "place of skulls". Now famous for being one of the heaviest waves in the world, the WSL contest at Teahupo’o is both a test of bravery as well as surfing precision.
So what will this year have in store and who will win?
We’ve broken down who we think will come 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.
Current Ranking: #4
Result at Tahiti in 2018: 5th
Italo has been one of the form surfers in 2019 with a win already under his belt at the Gold Coast and a solid second place finish at Jeffreys Bay. Italo appears to be fearless when it comes to surfing heavy waves. At “The Box” in Western Australia he took on one of the heaviest waves of the competition and it was the first wave he’d ever surfed at that particular break. Watch that wave here (skip to 0:39).
- Italo has already registered a win in 2019 at the Gold Coast;
- Being a goofy he will be on his forehand on the left handers at Teahupo'o; and
- His aggressive style means he stays busy all heat and catches plenty of waves.
- Italo is generally quite reliant on airs to achieve big scores from the judges. The conditions at Teahupo’o all but rule out airs.
Current Ranking: #1
Result at Tahiti in 2018: 5th
Kolohe is very much the quiet achiever of the men’s tour. He has been going about his business with style and professionalism and is now sitting at the top of the leader board with little fuss. Kolohe is one of the most technically proficient on tour and will be right at home under the big barrels of Teahupo’o.
- Kolohe’s father, Dino Andino, was a prolific professional surfer in the 90’s and so Kolohe spent his childhood surrounded by the world’s best surfers.
- His technique is textbook perfect and so he can always fall back on clean snaps and cutbacks if the waves get tricky.
- Has already claimed four podium finishes in 2019.
- Has never won a WSL event so may be lacking a little confidence.
Current Ranking: #7
Result at Tahiti in 2018: 1st
Warning: Watch your back because is Gabriel Medina is in red hot form and on a collision course for the world title. Medina’s performance on his backhand in the final at J-Bay was some of the best surfing we’ve ever seen. Having won the Tahiti event twice before, it’s hard to rule out Medina for a 1st place finish in 2019
- He is the most physically balanced yet explosive surfer on tour.
- Medina’s in red hot form after his 1st place finish in Jeffrey’s Bay.
- Being the defending world champion means he knows exactly what mentality it takes to close out events.
- Given the heavy nature of the wave at Teahupo’o, Gabriel will be restricted to tube-riding and won’t be able to showcase his aerial manouvres.